Best Trout Rivers In Ontario

Ontario is blessed with hundreds of rivers and streams that have wild self sustaining populations of trout. The best trout rivers in Ontario for brown are found in Southern Ontario, while Northern Ontario has some of the best brook trout rivers in the world.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) even recognizes about 159 brown trout streams, most of which are in Southern Ontario, many also have native brook trout. There are probably hundreds or even thousands more little creeks and streams spread out all over Ontario that have brook trout in them.

Northern Ontario is littered with little back-creeks with brook trout in them.

About Southern Ontario’s Best Trout Streams

An angler Nymph fishing for trout on an Ontario river
An angler Nymph fishing for trout on an Ontario river

There are even a few streams in Southern Ontario with wild or stocked rainbow trout, too.

Many of these same trout rivers enter into the Great Lakes, and many also have migratory rainbow trout, migratory brown trout, and salmon in the lower sections.

These trout rivers are spread out all over Southern Ontario, from the far southern Lake Erie rivers to the far Eastern Rivers of Lake Ontario to the more northern rivers of Georgian Bay.

Because I’m not an expert on Northern Ontario rivers, this webpage only covers Southern Ontario rivers and streams.

Some of our Southern Ontario trout rivers are large enough to get a canoe or small boat through, while others are so small you could jump across them.

On of my buddies fishing on one of the best trout rivers in Ontario boat.
One of my buddies fishing secluded trout water which is only possible by using an inflatable boat.

This gives anglers the opportunity to fish all kinds of different water, from fast rapid sections to slow swampy flat water and everything in between.

What often makes a river one of the best is not just the fact that there are lots of fish in it, but it needs to be accessible.

That is why only the larger, more popular, and more accessible rivers and creeks are listed on this page.

An angler holding a nice 20 inch brow trout
My friend Ed with another nice brown trout from Ontario’s best brown trout river, the Grand River.

The list below is some of the bigger more popular rivers in Southern Ontario.

Some of the best fishing for trout on the bigger rivers occurs up in the highest portions of the headwaters or the smaller tributaries of these rivers.

There are some smaller tributaries that the steelhead can get up, but the lower portions of the rivers are often best if you want steelhead and salmon.

A natural spring entering one of Ontario's best trout and steelhead rivers.
The headwaters of a great Ontario trout and steelhead river.

NOTICE: many of the rivers listed on this website have extensive private property sections, and landowners have notified me that they will charge people for trespassing. If there are signs posted, DO NOT TRESPASS. There is also no such thing as a high water mark in Ontario.

One of my clients fishing the headwaters section of a good Ontario trout river.
One of my clients releasing a small trout while fishing in the headwaters section of a good Ontario trout river.

Therefore, if your feet are on dry land along the edge of a river, you can be charged with trespassing, and it doesn’t matter how high the river gets.

Many landowners often tell me that the primary issues they have with anglers are littering, poaching, and disrespectful anglers.

If there weren’t so many anglers littering and more anglers picking up garbage from the jerks that litter, we would have more places to fish.

Best Ontario Trout Rivers
Two of my clients fishing for trout and steelhead on a guide trip.


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The Best Lake Ontario Rivers

Oshawa Creek
Duffins Creek
Bowmanville Creek
Wilmot Creek
Ganaraska River
Cobourg Creek
Cold Creek
Rouge River
Bronte Creek
16 Mile Creek

The Best Georgian Bay Trout Rivers

Cold Water River
Beaver River
Bighead River
Sydenham River

The Best Lake Huron Trout Rivers Of Ontario

Sauble River
Saugeen River
Maitland River
Nine Mile River
Bayfield River

The Best Lake Erie Trout Rivers In Ontario

Big Creek
Grand River

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Guide Tip: Just because you know where to fish doesn’t mean you will catch trout. Presentation, the method you use, the gear, and your setup can all make a huge difference in catching trout. Even the line you use matters.

Go Wet A Line,


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